Proper care of bicycle gears consists of cleaning them and lubricating them in a timely manner. It is the latter that we are going to focus on today. There are many compositions designed for lubrication, but the most popular is paraffin grease for the bike chain.
Nodes and mechanisms of two-wheeled vehicles are subjected to stress during movement – they are constantly exposed to the friction force. In addition, adverse conditions (water, dirt, sand and other factors) worsen the condition of the running mechanisms. Therefore, lubrication of the parts is the best practice to prolong the life of the bicycle chain. If this point is ignored, in a very short time, the negative factors will cause the development of corrosion, which will entail the replacement of mechanisms.
It is necessary to choose a proper lubricant, because of its quality and composition depends on the duration and effectiveness of the operation of the vehicle. Paraffin chain lubricant is one of the best types of lubrication products.
Why is it necessary to lubricate the bicycle chain with paraffin grease?
Let’s note right away that paraffin treatment is more of a preservation method than a lubrication method. Nevertheless, the anti-corrosive properties of paraffin are so good that the chains treated with it noticeably increase their service life.
A little later we will tell you about the technology itself and the peculiarities of the lubricant composition. And now we will outline the specifics of this procedure. During its performance, paraffin reliably protects the bicycle chain from abrasive particles (sand grains, for example) on its rubbing surfaces, which increases its service life. This is especially noticeable in extreme riding conditions, such as when the cyclist is tirelessly traversing the woods.
Unlike liquid products, wax lubrication does not pick up sand and dust. That means your bike’s drivetrain almost always stays dry and clean.
How to Lubricate a Chain with Paraffin
There are two options here:
- Simply drip melted paraffin on each link (you can also heat the chain with a hair dryer for reliability). This method does not provide deep penetration of lubricant into all joints, so the procedure will have to be repeated periodically.
- Weld bicycle chain in the melted paraffin wax water bath method, when the water is not heated above 100 degrees, not allowing to burn the wax.
Boil the chain should be at least 10 minutes – in this case, paraffin will penetrate into all the hard-to-reach places. Of course, it is necessary to treat only after a thorough cleaning. You can boil not only in the garage, but also in the house, as the lubricating product does not have a specific smell.
Advantages and disadvantages
The method of paraffin chain lubrication has quite a few supporters. The advantages are obvious:
- A clean chain;
- protected from dust and dirt in hard-to-reach places;
- no need for frequent chain lubrication;
- longer life of an important powertrain component;
- paraffin ensures proper sliding action and prevents dirt from getting trapped in all joints.
There is one more thing: while the interval of chain lubrication with usual liquid composition is about 100 km, the adherents of paraffin lubrication repeat the procedure every 400-500 km, and even 800 km, depending on weather conditions and specific routes.
There are also disadvantages of such method of treatment. Firstly, it is a rather labor-intensive process – sometimes it is easier to drop a few drops of ordinary grease than to bother with a water bath. Secondly paraffin does not like moisture, that’s why for tough trophy-riders crossing swamps and small streams in the rain it would be easier to use usual liquid composition.
What bikes are best suited for wax chain lubrication
The potential target audience for wax lubrication is city bike and road bike owners. Their lubrication intervals with liquid compounds are quite short, and wax allows them to treat their bike chains less often. Those who ride MTBs should also use this method of treatment, as it allows them to increase the service life of the transmission elements.
The only person who is not recommended to use paraffin for chain lubrication is a cyclist. Especially those who cover long distances. Boiling the chain is not something you want to do on the road.
Can you make paraffin grease at home
You can, and there’s nothing complicated about it. Moreover, experienced cyclists even recommend doing such painstaking work with your own hands, if time allows. To do this, you will need regular solid paraffin, two metal containers and water.
First, you need to build a water bath, placing water in the lower container and paraffin in the upper one. It is not necessary to heat the lower jar strongly – the water should not boil. As soon as the paraffin melts in the upper jar, the chain should be immersed in it. It should be boiled for at least 10 minutes, stirring constantly so that the wax penetrates into all the hard-to-reach places.
Top most popular wax lubricants for bike chains
Some of the most common lubricants include:
- Finish Line Krytech Paraffin. The compound is designed for use in favorable weather conditions. After its application and complete drying it forms a solid film with high antifriction properties and protects it from dust. A good choice for cyclists who ride on dry and dusty roads.
- Smoove Universal Chain Lube. This emulsion does its job perfectly in both dry and wet weather. The product is characterized by its durability when properly applied. One bottle is enough for several seasons.
- Squirt Chain Lube Long Lasting. It is a universal grease suitable for riding in all weather conditions. It keeps on the chain for a long time, repels dirt, water and grains of sand.
Special attention should be paid to Squirt Low-Temp Chain Lube, a grease designed for use during the cold season. The composition contains modifying additives, which do not allow the wax to freeze.
The chain should never be neglected by the bike owner. Save on lubricants is definitely not worth it, because the repair or complete replacement of the transmission will cost much more.
Lubricate the chain and elements of the transmission aerosol WD-40 or its analogues is not worth it – these compositions are designed to unlock sour joints. Preference should be given to paraffin lubricants from well-known manufacturers.
Many cyclists give the palm of the palm to paraffin greases, because this product allows you to extend the life of the chain and other elements of the transmission.